Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What have I been doing?

Well, not blogging obviously. Bad Jen!

I have a lot to write about and some photos to post.

Like I said, we had a great visit with my Mom and her husband, Ray. They were on for a five day cruise and we went to Tulum with them. Tulum is an anicent Mayan city right on the coast of Mexico - close to Playa del Carmen. It is a beautiful site - lots of intact structures and a picturesque beach. My Mom had her knee replaced two years ago and it was amazing to watch her climb all over the ruins.

On Grand Cayman, Ray went golfing with our castmate, Mike Shreeman. They had a great time golfing on a course designed by Jack Nicklaus. They saw lots of blue iguanas.
At one point, Ray lost his ball and he went into the brush to find it. When he moved back a branch, he was confronted with a snake in the tree. Undaunted, he continued to look for his ball until he saw a second snake on the ground. It occurred to him that it might just be better to take the penalty and use a new ball.

While they we're golfing, Larrance and I took my Mom for her first ever swimming/snorkeling in the ocean--experience. We went to West Cemetery Bay which is one of our favorite spots on Grand Cayman. I took my Mom out right away. It was hard for her to trust the ocean - she thought she was going to sink. Then, to couple that with the foreign experience of breathing while your face is under water was all a bit too much for her. So we paddled around a bit and then got out to lay on the beach. I could tell that she was thinking it all over and suddenly she was ready to try again. So out we went and this time she got it! We swam around the closer, smaller reef and we saw all kinds of fish - Surgeon Fish, Tangs, Sargent Majors, Palmettos, Goat Fish, French Grunts and a couple of Squirrel fish.

After that Larrance and I swam out about 100 yards to the larger reef. We saw a spotted eel, a spiny lobster and hundreds upon hundreds of other fish including a bunch of cow fish. It was a great day.

The whole cruise was so much fun and it was a pleasure to have them on board.

Since then we've been taking it easy on adventures in the ports but we have had a few....here are some highlights:

Barbados - We went to a club called the Blue Monkey on Payne's Bay. Payne's Bay is known for having sea turtles around on a regular basis. From the beach to the site of the turtles was about 100 yards and it was filled with boats and jet ski's. Several guys tried to sell us a ride out to the turtles but we said "no thank you!"

Andy and I went first and for the first time in a long time I had a horrible anxiety attack in the water. The water was very choppy and close into the shore the visibility was awful. As Deanna said, it felt like we were in a sensory deprivation tank. Andy stayed with me and talked me through my attack - he was very sweet. Then we made it out to the turtles but there was only one! I was a little bummed thinking all my work was for nothing. Then 3 more appeared - two Green Turtles and two Loggerheads. We also saw two huge Honeycomb Cowfish and a weird thing called a Flying Gurnard. The swim back was just as hard but this time I was with Larrance so I felt very safe.

Dominican Republic - We went whale watching yesterday with Kim Beddall. Kim said that the Bay of Samana is like a singles nightclub for whales.The ocean was super rough yesterday. Luckily, I'd been told to get on the top level of the ship because downstairs was puketown. The ship was rocking so violently that every single person down there got sick - the rest of us on the top were fine. We saw one humpback whale which was very active. The whale breached, tail breached and tail slapped.

Later back on the cruise ship when we were pulling away from port, we saw like seven humpbacks in the distance. They were all breaching and tail slapping. I guess, like any good nightclub, things don't really start happening until nightfalls.

On the Ship - we've now been changed back to Crew. This is a good thing. Instead of being on the passenger list and being guests in crew areas, now we're crew again.

I'll put another update with photos up on Sunday. Sorry to my loyal readers - I hope you're still reading!